What is so special about handmade agarbatti?
Every Indian household is accustomed to burning incense.
Our country has a long tradition of burning incense sticks dating back to the time of the Vedas. For religious rituals or more, agarbattis infuse the air with purity and a soothing aroma. Known by many names, incense sticks or Joss sticks, in India, we go for the term ‘agarbatti’.
In this article, we are about to discuss handmade agarbattis, how different these are from machine-made ones, and what is so special about Phool’s handmade agarbattis.
What are handmade agarbattis?
Well, as the name suggests, handmade agarbattis are made by hand using traditional techniques and natural ingredients and are often used for spiritual or religious ceremonies, as well as for their pleasant aroma.
The speciality of handmade agarbattis is each stick is unique and may have a slightly different scent and burn time than machine-made ones. In contrast, mass-produced incense sticks are often made using synthetic fragrances and other artificial ingredients, which can result in a more uniform and less complex scent.
The handmade agarbattis in Phool is specially made using natural ingredients and essential oils. A well-known fact; Phool has an amazing team of women artisans from marginalised communities, who work the magic behind these hand-rolled incense sticks.
The all-natural ingredients give the incense sticks a more complex and nuanced scent and provide potential health benefits. In addition, many people find the process of making agarbatti by hand superior and appreciate the craftsmanship and care that goes into each stick.
The history of handmade agarbatti
The history of handmade agarbattis dates back thousands of years, and the specific methods used to make them have varied depending on the culture and period. People's use of various materials for cooking and heating gave rise to the practice of burning incense. The first kind of incense ever burned in history was when certain kinds of woods and shrubs were burned by people, producing a lovely and enigmatic waft of perfume from the fire.
Several enthusiasts have dug up the history of incense, and have collected extraordinary information. To accomplish specific goals, incense was burned during rites.
Native American shamanistic rituals also involved burning aromatic herbs and inhaling their fumes, which is very similar to incense burning. People still use various kinds of incense to help them focus and get calm when they are meditating.
Healing and incense have a long-standing relationship.. Different incense blends have a therapeutic effect on people struggling with suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and sadness. Another belief regarding frankincense is that it induces tranquillity and calm.
Throughout history, agarbattis has been made using a combination of natural ingredients and essential oils, rolled into a stick or cone and allowed to dry.
In ancient India, agarbattis also included herbs, spices, and resins. Over time, the techniques used to make agarbatti have evolved, with different cultures using different ingredients and methods to create different scents and effects.
In modern times, handmade agarbattis are still made using many of the same techniques that have been used for centuries. However, advances in technology have made it easier for people to create different kinds of agarbattis, using a variety of natural ingredients and essential oils. As a result, there is now a wide range of handmade agarbattis available, with different scents and properties to suit other preferences.
What’s so special about Phool’s handmade agarbattis?
The Indian market is flooded with handmade incense sticks and incense cones, from several brands. These incense sticks are of various aromas and colours and have their own set of benefits. But why such a din about Phool? We would love to tell you.
Phool is a ‘project with a purpose’... The idea was to reuse the floral waste dumped in the River Ganges and create something for the greater good. Fast forward to the present, Phool converts about 9 tons of temple-ridden natural flowers every day into aromatic, handmade incense sticks and incense cones that are free from harmful ingredients.
We call this process ‘flower-cycling’ and in the long run, it can help rejuvenate the water bodies in India. The flowercyclists and agarbatti makers in Phool are from marginalized communities, to ensure they no longer experience exploitation and have a better livelihood.
Every time you shop for a box of incense sticks from Phool, we save 1.25 kgs of flowers from going to the rivers, provide 1 flowercyclist with a secure livelihood, and do your part for the environment.
Benefits of going for handmade agarbattis
There are several benefits to choosing handmade agarbattis over mass-produced ones:
Unique scents: A handmade agarbatti is often made using natural ingredients and essential oils, which can give it a more complex and subtle scent compared to mass-produced incense sticks.
Craftsmanship: Many people appreciate the craftsmanship and care that goes into making handmade agarbattis.
Natural ingredients: Handmade agarbattis are often made using natural ingredients and essential oils, which are safer and more environmentally friendly than synthetic fragrances used in mass-produced incense sticks.
Customization: As beautifully handcrafted, it is often possible to request custom scents or blend different ingredients to create a unique aroma.
Supporting small businesses: Choosing handmade agarbattis also supports small businesses and artisans who make them, rather than supporting larger corporations.
If you are planning to shop from Phool, anytime soon…
Here are the top three incense sticks to choose from:
- Oudh Natural Incense Sticks: for its rich, musky woody aroma that fills your space with a calming effect and is known to ward off negative energy. Oudh incense sticks are also a customer favourite and top-rated in the store.
- Jasmine Incense Sticks: You can never go wrong with Jasmine. Jasmine sticks are known for their therapeutic properties and are used widely in aromatherapy for pain and healing.
- Nagchampa incense sticks: for the sweet balsamic fragrance and the benefits it can add to your meditation sessions.
At Phool, all our incenses are charcoal-free, organic, for a cause, and handmade with love. Check out our incense store today.